Sipping Elegance: Afternoon Tea in Philadelphia’s Best Spots

Laura Williams

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Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Unsplash

Afternoon tea is a quintessential British tradition that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a time-honored ritual that involves sipping on tea, nibbling on delicate sandwiches, and indulging in sweet treats. While it may have originated in England, afternoon tea has become a popular pastime all over the world, including in Philadelphia. In this article, we will explore the afternoon tea scene in Philadelphia and discover some of the best places to enjoy this delightful experience.


While afternoon tea is a British tradition, it is not the only cuisine that offers a similar experience. High tea, for example, is a similar concept that originated in Scotland and is more of a substantial meal with heartier dishes. In Japan, there is a similar tradition called “chakai,” which involves serving tea and sweets in a traditional tea ceremony. Despite the similarities, each cuisine has its own unique twist on the concept of tea time.


Philadelphia is home to a variety of tea rooms and restaurants that offer afternoon tea. From elegant hotels to cozy cafes, there is something for everyone. During an afternoon tea experience, guests can expect to be served a selection of teas, along with a tiered tray of sandwiches, scones, and pastries. The atmosphere is typically relaxed and refined, making it the perfect way to spend an afternoon with friends or family. So, whether you’re a tea aficionado or just looking for a unique dining experience, be sure to check out the afternoon tea in Philadelphia.

Mary Cassatt Tea Room

Mary Cassatt Tea Room - <a href="https://www.rittenhousehotel.com/dining/tea">Photo Source</a>
Mary Cassatt Tea Room – Photo Source

210 W Rittenhouse Sq l Philadelphia
(215) 546-9000
Mary Cassatt Tea Room Menu

The Mary Cassatt Tea Room is a must-visit for anyone looking for a luxurious and unforgettable experience. From the moment you walk in, you are transported to a world of elegance and sophistication. The harpist playing in the background adds to the already fancy atmosphere, making you feel like royalty. The tea choices are excellent, and the food is intricate and delicious. The blue cheese and walnut scone, egg salad with caviar, and miniature popsicle are just a few of the amazing flavors you can expect to taste. Even if you have dietary restrictions, the staff is accommodating and will make sure you have options. The service is exceptional, and the staff is friendly and attentive.

The garden outside is meticulously maintained, adding to the overall ambiance of the tea room. While the portions are thoughtfully small, it is a multi-course afternoon tea, and you will leave feeling satisfied. The Victorian Ladies Tea Society of Philadelphia celebrated their 23rd anniversary here, and it was a five-star experience. The Mary Cassatt Tea Room is perfect for celebrating a special occasion or having a mom and daughter date. It may be a bit pricey, but you are paying for the ambiance and service, which are top-notch. Don’t miss out on this outstanding and intimate experience.

Painted Tea Cup

Sipping Elegance: Afternoon Tea in Philadelphia's Best Spots - Painted Tea Cup - <a href="https://thepaintedteacup.com/gallery">Photo Source</a>
Painted Tea Cup – Photo Source

220 S State Rd Upper Darby
(610) 352-2334
Painted Tea Cup Menu

Painted Tea Cup is a charming restaurant that offers a delightful ambiance and stellar service. The food is tasty and good, although some reviewers have mentioned that the portions are tiny. However, this is to be expected as it is an afternoon tea spot. The croissant with chicken salad is a must-try, but there is a lack of protein in some of the other options. Each person can choose a “pot” of tea, although the pot is not left on the table. Despite this, the service is excellent and the staff is accommodating to dietary restrictions.

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If you’re looking for a wonderful experience, Painted Tea Cup is the perfect spot to go with your favorite lady friends. Toddlers have to be seated in a seat booster to avoid accidents with hot tea, so it’s not the best place for young children. Car pooling is a good idea as parking is very limited, and you may need to park down the street.

While some of the options may be a bit strange for an afternoon tea, the scone is more like a small cake, and there is also some banana bread on the savory plate. The restaurant offers a good selection of decaf options as well. If you have dietary restrictions, it’s best to call ahead and make a reservation. Although they cannot accommodate a dairy allergy, they can accommodate a shellfish allergy.

Overall, Painted Tea Cup is a lovely spot to enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea with friends. The staff is friendly and accommodating, and the ambiance is delightful. Give it a try and support a small business. While there may be other local afternoon tea spots to explore, Painted Tea Cup is definitely worth a visit.

A Taste of Britain

Sipping Elegance: Afternoon Tea in Philadelphia's Best Spots - A Taste of Britain - <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=805983014577058&set=pb.100054961006627.-2207520000.&type=3">Photo Source</a>
A Taste of Britain – Photo Source

503 W Lancaster Ave Wayne
(610) 971-0390
A Taste of Britain Menu

A Taste of Britain is a must-visit for anyone who loves tea and British cuisine. The restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes that are sure to satisfy any palate. The scones, clotted cream, and lemon curd are a must-try and are absolutely divine. The desserts are also delicious and are the perfect way to end your meal.

While some reviewers had mixed feelings about the sandwiches, we found them to be quite enjoyable. The tea sandwiches come in a variety of flavors, including egg salad, chicken salad, turkey & cranberry, and cheese. The bread is a bit on the hard side, but the fillings are flavorful and satisfying.

The ambiance of the restaurant is light and airy, and the tables are spaced nicely apart. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they go out of their way to make sure that you have a great experience.

While some reviewers had negative things to say about the restaurant, we found that the positives far outweighed the negatives. The restaurant is a bit on the pricey side, but the amount of food you receive is well worth it.

Overall, we highly recommend A Taste of Britain to anyone who is looking for a great tea and dining experience. The restaurant is a true gem and is sure to become a favorite among tea lovers and foodies alike.

The Dandelion

Sipping Elegance: Afternoon Tea in Philadelphia's Best Spots - The Dandelion - <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TheDandelionPub/photos/pb.100063556544036.-2207520000./5703930222979548/?type=3">Photo Source</a>
The Dandelion – Photo Source

124 S 18th St Philadelphia
(215) 558-2500
The Dandelion Menu

The Dandelion is a must-visit restaurant in Philly! From the moment you walk in, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a cozy British pub. The service is top-notch, with knowledgeable and friendly staff who are always willing to accommodate your needs. The food is simply amazing, with a menu that offers something for everyone. The steak with fries is cooked to perfection, the salmon is juicy and well-prepared, and the mussels are swimming in a delicious buttery broth. The ricotta appetizer, fish & chips, and dandy burger are also highly recommended. Even the deviled eggs and Welsh Rarebit are a must-try! The atmosphere is spot on, with beautiful artwork and figurines that add to the cozy vibe. The tea room is a fun afternoon spot, with delicious snacks and cute cups and plates. While reservations are suggested, the bar area is also a lovely spot to enjoy drinks and food. The only downside is that it may not be kid/stroller-friendly due to the stairs between sections. Overall, The Dandelion is a smashing choice for any occasion, whether it’s a birthday celebration or a prequel to a trip to London.

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Prince Tea House

Sipping Elegance: Afternoon Tea in Philadelphia's Best Spots - Prince Tea House - <a href="https://www.princeteahouse.com">Photo Source</a>
Prince Tea House – Photo Source

203 N 9th St Philadelphia
(215) 560-8912
Prince Tea House Menu

Prince Tea House is a must-visit for anyone who loves tea and delicious food. The Asian and British fusion of flavors is a unique and enjoyable experience that you won’t find anywhere else. The afternoon tea for two is a steal at $55 and includes a variety of bite-sized savories and sweets, such as open-faced sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, macarons, crepe cake, and mousse cups. The fried squid with sweet chili sauce is a standout appetizer, and the desserts are all delicious. The staff is friendly and accommodating, and the ambiance is cool and relaxing.

The rose milk tea and lavender milk tea are both must-tries, and the bubble tea is customizable to your liking. While there were a few negative reviews, such as the Tiramisu being dry and the mango cake tasting like sour milk, these were isolated incidents and should not deter you from visiting this gem in Philly. Overall, Prince Tea House is a great place to go for a casual hangout or a special occasion, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a unique tea experience.

Jane’s Tea House

Sipping Elegance: Afternoon Tea in Philadelphia's Best Spots - Jane’s Tea House - <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=679213240880015&set=pb.100063740360185.-2207520000.&type=3">Photo Source</a>
Jane’s Tea House – Photo Source

602 Station Ave Haddon Heights
(856) 508-0080
Jane’s Tea House Menu

Jane’s Tea House is a must-visit for anyone looking for a unique and delightful dining experience. The food is simply delicious, with a wide variety of options to choose from. The bistro box and bacon cheddar quiche are highly recommended, and the scones are out of this world! Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available, making it a great choice for anyone with dietary restrictions.

The tea selection is extensive, with over 40 types of tea to choose from. The teas are beautifully presented in unique teapots, adding to the overall charm of the restaurant. The service is friendly and accommodating, with staff members like Emma, Chloe, and Grace going above and beyond to ensure that every guest has a memorable experience.

Jane’s Tea House is also a great place to host events, such as bridal showers, baby showers, and birthday parties. The staff is knowledgeable and attentive, making sure that every detail is taken care of. The restaurant is kid-friendly, with a kids menu and plenty of activities to keep little ones entertained.

While some reviewers noted that the food service can be slow during busy times, it’s worth taking the time to enjoy the whole experience without stress. The value for what you get is really nice, and the quaint, old-fashioned atmosphere is perfect for a relaxing afternoon.

Overall, Jane’s Tea House is a gem in South Jersey that any tea lover should check out. The food, tea, and service are all top-notch, and the atmosphere is simply charming. Whether you’re looking for a unique dining experience or a place to host a special event, Jane’s Tea House is the perfect choice.

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The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop

Sipping Elegance: Afternoon Tea in Philadelphia's Best Spots - The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop - <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=604020028405860&set=pb.100063936039516.-2207520000.&type=3">Photo Source</a>
The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop – Photo Source

713 N 4th St Philadelphia
(267) 639-2442
The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop Menu

The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop is a must-visit for tea lovers and anyone looking for a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The staff is incredibly friendly and accommodating, making you feel right at home from the moment you walk in. The tea selection is impressive, with a variety of house blends and bulk herbs available. The custom tea options are a standout, with some people raving about their delicious and refreshing Spice Ginger, lemon w/ lemon zest and aged honey blend. The outdoor seating area is a lovely touch, with a small fire chest to keep you warm on chilly days. Other patreons enjoyed their sunny winter day on the back porch, while some were blown away by the gorgeous back patio. The shop also offers cool little items to browse through. Even if you’re not a tea drinker, the atmosphere alone is worth a visit. Don’t miss out on this gem in Philadelphia!

Tilly Mint’s Tea Room

Sipping Elegance: Afternoon Tea in Philadelphia's Best Spots - Tilly Mint’s Tea Room - <a href="https://tillymints.com/about-us">Photo Source</a>
Tilly Mint’s Tea Room – Photo Source

20 W Chestnut St Souderton
(215) 723-2620
Tilly Mint’s Tea Room Menu

Tilly Mint’s Tea Room is a must-visit for anyone looking for a unique and delightful experience. The food and service are exceptional, and the attention to detail is remarkable. The full tea is a must-try, with a lovely display of tea sandwiches, scones, and petite desserts. The vegetable soup is a standout, with a secret ingredient that gives it a little kick. The staff is accommodating to different dietary needs, making sure that everyone can enjoy the delicious food. The atmosphere is charming, with tea pots and decorations that transport you to England. The gift shop is also a lot of fun, with a life-size cut out of Queen Elizabeth that is sure to impress. While the atmosphere may be a bit outdated for some, the food more than makes up for it. The staff is friendly and efficient, making sure that everyone has a wonderful experience. Reservations are a must, as this is a returning visit place. Don’t forget to take some new flavors of tea home with you! Overall, Tilly Mint’s Tea Room is a gem that should not be missed.

Conclusion

Indulging in afternoon tea is a delightful experience, and one place that I highly recommend is The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia. The historic hotel offers a beautiful setting and the staff is friendly, informative, and accommodating. The avocado toast is a standout dish, and the location is fantastic, with many attractions nearby. While there may be some minor issues, the overall experience is wonderful and the service is attentive. If you’re looking to enjoy a luxurious afternoon tea experience in Philadelphia, The Ritz-Carlton is the perfect choice.

In conclusion, Philadelphia’s afternoon tea scene offers a range of options for tea enthusiasts and those looking for a unique dining experience. From luxurious hotels to charming tea rooms, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The ambiance is typically relaxed and refined, providing the perfect setting for spending quality time with friends or family. Whether you’re a fan of traditional British afternoon tea or prefer a fusion of flavors, Philadelphia’s tea establishments are sure to satisfy your cravings. Treat yourself to a delightful afternoon of tea, sandwiches, and sweets at one of the city’s tea spots and experience the joy of this timeless tradition.

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